Farewell to 517

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It has been ‘Latics’ Home on the Telly’ for many years, but from January 2010, it shall be no more. 517, the number so embedded in the brain of many a Wigan fan, shall soon be forgotten like a bad season or ill-informed Dave Whelan rant, consigned to the bin of history as but a fading memory. That number, my friends, is of course the Teletext page for the latest Latics news, fixtures and team statistics.

Or at least, it was. The word from the powers that be is that today, we have the Internet for this sort of thing. “Go and buy yourself a broadband connection to the Information Superhighway, ya? Stop living in the Dark Ages.”

But not everybody wants to. The Internet is full of boring idiots that have nothing better to do but write endless drivel about stuff nobody is interested in (Quick, move on now before it registers in their brain — Ed). They go on for hours, often skating past or merely alluding to the point in their seven page epics on why Jason Scotland will be even worse for the club than Olivier Krappo.

Teletext was always to-the-point, concise and above all reliable. Sure, it had those annoying flashy adverts for BetFred and gay chatlines (what on Earth do they take us for? I had no idea we were seen as the effeminate ones), but at least it was free. That’s a whole 40p less than the Wigan Evening Post, who really do struggle to find stuff other than Wigan RL drug scandals to write about in the off-season. And don’t even get me started on the Wigan Reporter.

Away from Internetland, where else could you get the latest Latics OPTA statistics and Clubcall rumours without paying through the nose? You could take a trip down to the JJB and ask for a printout but they’d probably look at you like you were Pascal Chimbonda come to beg for forgiveness or something. “Haha, so you want these facts, do yer? Well tough turkeys, I’ve got to align these gumshields in a perfectly straight line to avoid another Kris Radlinski outburst. Stop wasting my time, laughing boy.”

Much like Chimbonda, once it’s gone, it really isn’t coming back. But there is a crumb of comfort for the armchair Latic – this BBCi interactive telly thing over on the other channel hasn’t quite bit the dust yet. Though it is as annoying as hell and doesn’t have a specific page dedicated to Wigan Athletic, it does have a pleasant local news section that’ll stop the withdrawal symptoms, at least for a short while.

Failing that, there’s always Sky Sports News to fall asleep in front of. Oh, look! Wigan Warriors lost again

Dan, AKA Hindleyite, Jesus Was a Wiganer

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